Minutes after taking over the dais with the addition of two new members on Monday Dec. 3, the Oakdale City Council set to business by breaking into closed session to discuss appointing a permanent city manager.
For the first time since April, when former Councilman Jason Howard resigned due to moving from the community, the council had a full body of five members.
The shortened agenda without any staff reports or informational items allowed for a swearing in ceremony that was held prior to the meeting. The only real discussion by the council prior to going to closed session was Farrell Jackson’s questioning of two warrants issued by the city in relation to the recent climbers festival.
Finance Director Albert Avila explained that the checks were issued from a special account established by the travel and visitors bureau that had been set aside that the city oversaw.
After the closed session, the city announced that the council had given direction on moving forward with the city manager recruitment.
“We’re looking at ideas and getting input from the new council members,” said Mayor Pat Paul. “We had quite a few applicants. I was hoping to do it by January, but I don’t know how that timeline will work now.”
Councilman Jackson also said he would like to see the new city manager appointed fairly quickly.
“We’re looking to get a city manager as soon as possible, but we’re not going to hurry it,” said Jackson. “If it’s not done by then, it’s not the end of the world. We want someone who will serve the community well.”
Jackson said he could not comment on the number of applicants but said there were some serious candidates worth looking at.
Jackson added that he was “very encouraged” at the makeup of the new council.
The city has operated with interim city managers of Greg Wellman followed by Stan Feathers since Steve Hallam was dismissed by the council in April 2011.
Paul said that the council also decided that recently re-elected councilmanTom Dunlop would continue to serve as mayor pro-tem.
“He’s experienced and has good business sense,” said Paul of Dunlop. “It was an easy choice for us.”